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H. OF R.]

Indian Appropriation Bill.

breach of public faith, and appear to the public as vindictive, arbitrary, and unjust.

[FEB. 26, 1834.

Such is the nature of that difference, that one or the other of them must be fundamentally wrong. But, if Mr. Taney be not in error, it is high time for us, who stand here as sentinels on the watch-tower of liberty, to undeceive a deluded people, by proclaiming to the world that, with all our fancied notions of freedom and independence, the President of these United States possesses more power over the sinews of the Government-the purse and the sword-than the King of Great Britain.

This frank avowal of an able and faithful officer, containing his reasons and opinions with regard to a matter he had the indisputable right to judge of, is deemed by the President an insult to his dignity, and unworthy of an answer. Instead of countermanding his lawless order, issued on the 20th September, and yielding to the discretion of the Secretary, in compliance with the law, the constitution, and his own solemn pledge not to interfere, he up- Believing, however, that such is not the true character braids the Secretary for not basely betraying the confi- of our Government, I should prove recreant to my trust dence of the Legislature, by ignobly deserting his post; were I to sustain this act of the administration. To saneand, what is still more strange, makes the' fidelity of this tion the removal of the public deposites-considering it, patriotic officer his excuse to dismiss him from office. as I do, an Executive measure-would be to establish by Such high-handed measures as these may now be lauded precedent an act of Executive usurpation. Therefore, I as marks of a fearless, noble, and patriotic independence; but, when the excitement of the moment ceases, and the present party distractions have been forgotten, they will be recorded by the honest historian as deeds of daring usurpation.

It has been truly said that the sword and the purse are now in the hands of the Executive. The worthy officer to whose guardian care had been committed the public treasure, has been forced from his high trust, for no other crime than the honest performance of his duty; and another appointed, whose first act is opposed to the known wishes of the people, and whose first communication to this House contains an express denial of the authority of the people's representatives. The first official act of the present Secretary was to remove the public deposites; while, in his first communication to the House, he declares his office to be "one of the executive departments of Government; and the manner in which its duties are to be exercised must be subject to the supervision of the officer to whom the constitution has confided the whole executive power, and has required to take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

The President has now all the power necessary to constitute the most perfect despot. With the bloody bill in the one hand, to make war upon the States, under the pretext of executing the laws, and with the purse in the other, his will has become the measure of our liberties. The laws respecting our Treasury may be misconstrued by the President, with the best intentions, or set at bold defiance, with motives the most corrupt; yet our pliant Secretary must obey his bidding. In all things relating to the Treasury Department, the Secretary, according to his own doctrine, must square his conduct and his conscience by the all of this high law-executing officer. Were these views respecting the power of the President over the Treasury confined to the present head of that department, we might hope to see them speedily checked by a patriotic and republican Senate. But such is not the fact. Similar views appear to be entertained by a large and respectable number of this House. Some gentlemen have gone so far in their zeal for executive power, as to declare that "the Secretary of the Treasury is bound to act in compliance with the President's wishes; and, in refusing to do so, or resign, he would violate every principle of duty, of honor, and honesty."

intend, in the first place, to vote for a restoration of the deposites to the Bank of the United States; and, after wards, support any measure that may be proposed in this House, that I may deem consistent with the public faith, for their future removal and security.

[Mr. C. spoke on several subsequent days, but was interrupted by the expiration of the hour. The whole is given entire above.]

INDIAN APPROPRIATION BILL.

The House proceeded to consider the bill making appropriations for the Indian Department for the year 1834. Mr. McKAY continued his remarks on this subject. Many abuses, he observed, had crept into this branch of the public service, and it was high time that a corrective should be applied. He moved that the bill should be recommitted to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union. He was adverse to its reference to the Committee of Ways and Means, or to the Committee on Indian Affairs. One item, in particular, of this bill, he must beg to call the attention of the House to. It was the clause granting for the payment of blacksmiths, and for the supply of steel and iron, twenty-one thousand dol lars. The chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means would see that this bill had been reported on account of treaty stipulations with the Indians; but he would also see, as it was within his knowledge, that another bill had been reported providing for the payment of the blacksmiths, and for the expense incurred on account of the iron and steel. He would further say, that it appeared twenty or thirty thousand dollars were to be paid, without authority, or the semblance of authority, of law. He called upon the gentleman at the head of the Committee of Ways and Means [Mr. POLK, of Tennessee] for information on the subject. He concluded by a repetition of his argument, and by a formal motion to recommit the bill to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union.

The

Mr. POLK said that it appeared to him that these various motions were out of place. If a reorganization of the Indian Department, and of the whole system bearing upon our Indian relations, should be thought necessary, let it be done upon some substantive proposition. present bill comprised only the regular annual appropria tion for blacksmiths and gunsmiths, under the treaty stipI know nothing, personally, of the honorable Secretary ulation. The amount of expenditure had been, in fact, Taney. I have understood, however, that he is a disciple diminished, except in one or two instances. When the of the ancient school of Alexander Hamilton; and, if so, other bill alluded to should come up, then it would be his present views and principles are perfectly consistent time to take it into consideration. He would go hand in with his political creed. That the love of place or power hand with that gentleman in any proper regulation of the had any influence in forming his written opinions respect-Indian system by law. The present bill certainly ought ing the public deposites, to suit the known disposition of to pass; and he hoped that the gentleman from North the President, I profess neither to know nor believe. This Carolina [Mr. McKAY] would postpone or withhold his is a matter I leave for those to judge who know him best. opposition until the other bill should be taken up. This But this I do know: that he and his immediate predecessor in office differ as widely in their views and principles respecting the duties of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the character of the department, as the east is from the west.

bill provides for the payment of the Indian annuities, and for the supply to various Indian tribes of implements of husbandry and agriculture. He would join the gentleman in his efforts to regulate and fix a proper system, it

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alteration were necessary, and improvement could be made. The year was now far advanced, and it was requisite, from many considerations, that the bill should not be arrested in its progress.

[H. OF R.

Mr. McKAY explained, and reiterated his former statement, by reciting the clause of the bill appropriating the sum of twenty-one thousand dollars for the expenses of iron, steel, coal, and blacksmiths.

Mr. COULTER said it had been the custom always, Mr. McKINLEY further contended for the correctness and a salutary custom it was, that all bills disposing of of the appropriation contained in the biil. Nothing more the public money must pass through the Committee of was appropriated than had been appropriated before. If he the Whole on the state of the Union. The object was to thought any good could be done by the recommitment of give an opportunity of discussing the object and the the bill, he should be in favor of that step; but, in his mode of its disbursement. The money of the people was opinion, no good could result from it. He hoped the bill a sacred treasure reposed in the hands of their represent- would not be recommitted. atives, and the propriety and manner of its disbursement became a subject of general and serious deliberation. Has this question received such a deliberate and attentive consideration? No: it had not; and this, of itself, formed a sufficient reason for the recommitment. But if any reason were wanting, it would be found in the fact, that the bill contained an appropriation similar to one in Mr. MERCER wished to thank the gentleman from another bill, emanating from the same committee. For North Carolina [Mr. McKAY] for his motion. He did not his part, he must repeat his wish for the examination of see why a motion to recommit should be considered as this subject in the Committee of the Whole. He did not any imputation on the chairman of a committee, or a comunderstand the gentleman at the head of the Committee mittee itself. The experience of eighteen years had of Ways and Means [Mr. POLK] as speaking of any law shown him (Mr. M.) that these annual bills were the which regulated our intercourse in this point with the most neglected of any portion of the business of that Indians. If such were not the case, how could they House. The notice of bringing them up was generally reconcile this appropriation with the appropriation in the the signal to gentlemen to dispose of their time in some ordinary mode of the service? Was there any law in more pleasant way. It was generally considered that respect to this elsewhere? And was the power to be they were laws which had passed before, and therefore vested in other hands? Was it because the War Depart- required no alteration. The evil of this custom was evi. ment employed others as their agents, that the House dent from what they had heard of the present bill. If he ought to pass upon the measure? He would not assume had rightly understood, one man had been paid nearly four this to be the light in which the case was to be viewed. hundred dollars for a few hours' service, and another had After some further remarks, he observed that the House been appointed as an interpreter who did not understand was indebted, and highly indebted, to the assiduity and a word of the language. He hoped the bill would be revigilance of the gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr. committed. McKAT.] The two bills, containing each of them a similar appropriation, might, but for him, have passed the House, on account of the reliance on the accuracy of the Committee of Ways and Means. That gentleman deserved high credit for his conduct, and he (Mr. C.) as happy to avail himself of the present opportunity of contributing his humble meed of approbation. The bill, he repeated, ought to be recommitted to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union; and he must say he felt surprised at any opposition being made to the proposition.

Mr. H. EVERETT made some remarks on the bill before the House. The reporter understood Mr. E. to express himself as being in favor of the recommitment of the bill.

Mr. FILLMORE also briefly spoke in favor of the recommitment.

Mr. HAWES, of Kentucky, expressed his intention of offering some amendments to the bill. He believed the Indian Department of the Government to be the worst managed of all the others. He would not trust to the Committee of Ways and Means; for when any information was asked of the chairman of that committee, the answer, and the eternal answer, was, that the appropriation was less than heretofore; and with that the House was expected to be content.

Mr. ASHLEY explained.

Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, concurred with the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. MERCER,] as to the thanks due to his colleague for the attention he had paid to this subject. It had been customary for years past not to pay much attention to these appropriation bills. They were considered as existing laws, and therefore requiring no amendment. The gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. McKAY] had told them that he had paid attention to this subject. They had reason to think he had. He appeared to have information on the subject, which was in some degree peculiar. He had told them that there were some appropriations in this bill which ought not to be made; and he challenged the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means to give him the opportunity of proving the fact, that there was an appropriation of $1,000 for a purpose not authorized by law, and another appropriation of $20,000 for a purpose which was provided for in another bill. Should not the House investigate this matter? The gentleman from Alabama [Mr. MCKINLEY] had said that Mr. SEVIER addressed the House in favor of the bill. the bill contained no more than the other bills. He said it was somewhat extraordinary that the House ting this, did it prove that, if wrong had existed, that was always had an Indian war on the occasion of every Indian any reason why it should longer exist? If the appropriabill. He believed the Indian Department to be the tions made in former bills were improper, were they, for purest and best conducted of all the others. He was not that reason, to be tolerated in this bill? Was it a suffiprepared to contradict what had been alleged by his cient reason why they should not recommit this bill? ¡The honorable friend from Missouri, yesterday, [Mr. ASHLEY;] gentleman said that, if it was again committed, the whole but because one officer had neglected his duty, that was question would be again before the House, and that disnot a good ground for condemning the whole depart- cussion would ensue. Was this an adequate reason why ment. From his situation, he was enabled to speak from the bill should not be recommitted? Were they always facts; and, upon examination, it would be found that the to be deterred from doing their duty, because discussion whole Indian Department was well conducted; and, with would ensue? They were sent to that House to discuss, regard to the present bill, there was not an item in it not to talk, and sometimes to vote. He trusted the bill would provided for by stipulation.

Admit

be recommitted. Mr. McKINLEY, of Alabama, defended the principles Mr. VINTON hoped that the bill would be recommitof the bill, and urged the inexpediency of entering upon ted, and this for the very purpose for which its recommitan investigation in a Committee of the Whole, where it tal had been deprecated-that they might have a full and would be impossible to examine so many items. free investigation into the whole subject of Indian expendi

H. OF R.]

Indian Appropriation Bill.

[FEB. 26, 1834.

tures, which were a perfect wasting of the public treas- rule of the House, and said his object in desiring the reure. Mr. V. referred to the investigation, which took commitment of the bill was to separate the two characters place about two years ago, into the subject of Indian ra- which it embraced.

Mr. V. spoke at considerable length on the subject. He declared himself to be the friend of economy and retrenchment. The excess of expenditure of the present administration over that of the preceding one was $5,000,000; and he should like to know the cause of this augmentation of the public disbursements.

tions. It was then promised that something should be Mr.POLK replied. He congratulated one quarter of the done to reduce these rations down to what they ought to House from whence the opposition to this bill arose, since be. Nothing had been done; and, if this bill was allowed a new system of retrenchment was probably about to comto pass, it would end all measures on the subject for this mence. Mr. P. said that the aggregate amount for blacksession. He was in favor of recommitting the bill-re-smiths was authorized by the several treaties made with the trenchment first, and pass the bill afterwards. Indians since 1821. The honorable 'member referred to some of the treaties to show that the provisions for this purpose were indefinitely laid down, and left chiefly to the discretion of the Government. The bill contained no appro priation, but under express stipulation; and, if rejected, the faith of Government would be forfeited. These appropriations were, according to former usage, sanctioned Mr. CAMBRELENG said he must congratulate the by Congress. He trusted the bill would not be delayed House and the country that the treasury of the nation by being recommitted, since it would be inflicting an act possessed some advocates among those whose voices had of injustice upon those officers whose salaries were pronot before been raised for its preservation, and in the vided for under its stipulations. Mr. P. would congratu cause of economy. The gentleman from Ohio had asked late the honorable member from Georgia, [Mr. WILDE,] how it was that such an excess of expenditure had been especially, for his intention of becoming the sentinel of the occasioned? The answer was plain. The pension roll Committee of Ways and Means. Mr. P., after some fursince 1824 had been increased; it amounted to $2,400,000. ther remarks, concluded by saying that, when the proper The naval department requires $1,100,000 in the same time came, he would hold himself ready to act to the fullmanner; a million more for the military. Mr. C. went fur- est extent with the new converts to retrenchment. ther into the details of the Treasury Department; and, in re- Mr. MERCER would have been glad if the honorable ply to the remarks of Mr. VINTON, said that he could not gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. POLK] had met the propo but express his surprise that a gentleman living in the in-sition of the honorable member from North Carolina with terior of a State bordering on the scenes of Indian war-somewhat better temper. He rose principally to express to fare should oppose this bill. What! when the fires were the former gentleman his expectation that he [Mr. POLK] lighted, and the knife and the tomahawk were impending, would have supported the motion, since it would have was it from the West that the objection was to arise-the been by that alone that any application could be made of objection to a bill providing for the security of that very sound economy. Mr. M. referred to the course he portion of the country? had pursued in the session before last, when on the Committee of Roads and Canals, to show that he did not come under the class of those denominated the new converts to retrenchment by the honorable member from Tennessee. The only bill that committee then originated was vetoed by the President of the United States. Another bill reported by them had virtually originated in the Committee of Ways and Means, and it was not exactly fair that all blame should inure to them. Mr. M. trusted that the House would accede to the motion for recommitting this bill.

Let the gentleman wait till the member from Vermont [Mr. EVERETT] should introduce the measure which he had announced to be in preparation on this subject. The gentleman from Missouri [Mr. ASHLEY] had spoken of abuses in the administration of the Indian Department, many of which might probably exist for where did abuses not exist? But they were not of such enormity, as alleged, as to warrant even the stopping of this bill in its progress. Last year the appropriation was nearly $2,000,000: this bill votes scarcely $700,000.

The SPEAKER here interposed. It was not in order to proceed in the details of the question.

Mr. MUHLENBERG admitted that it was not in order, certainly, according to the rules of the House; but he said the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means had reason to complain of the attack levelled at him. Was the public business to be impeded in its progress?

Mr. VINTON said he was in favor of the motion to recommit for the reasons already assigned for it, and especially for one that had been objected against it. It had been urged that the bill ought to be passed without taking up time in debate. To get a full and searching de bate upon the whole system of Indian expenditure, and upon the general state of the treasury and its disburse ments, was that for which he wanted to see the bill sent Mr. BEARDSLEY, of New York, would not say that a back to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the design actually existed, but it was rumored out of doors, Union. The Indian Department always had been liable and stated in the papers, that this bill must pass to the to the greatest abuses; there was nothing of the syster, committee, together with the one referred on yesterday, economy, or accountability in it, which it should be subin order that a tack or proviso might follow, in a supple- ject to; and when, at the commencement of the present mentary way, for the restoration of the public deposites administration, it was proposed to introduce into that deand the renewal of the bank charter. He asked if there partment new and great operations, necessarily involving were any latent or concealed design of this nature? If so, very heavy expenditures of money, one leading objec let it be avowed fairly. tion against it was the want of all economy or accounta Mr. COULTER warmly reprobated the idea of any sin-bility in the department. This was admitted to be true; ister motive or latent design being connected with his and we were then told that estimates of the proposed support of the motion for recommitment. expenditures were overrated some two or three times Mr. WILDE said he hoped this bill would be recom-beyond what would be the actual cost, because they mitted. He congratulated the House on the temper with were based upon the former expenditures; that the Govwhich this question had been taken up, and he trusted it ernment had a system of economy and accountability dewould lead to some practical purpose, producing some vised, which was to follow "the Indian bill," as the law effectual retrenchment. Mr. W. referred to what had of that session has been called, and the estimates sent been the usual practice heretofore in bills originating with us were predicated upon this new system; and thus this the Committee of Ways and Means, and the course of Mr. insuperable difficulty was got rid of, and the bill carried Lowndes, a former chairman of that committee, who was into a law. It was a most prominent topic of debate. always prepared to give the most minute and satisfactory Well, sir, four years have now gone by; something like explanation. The honorable member referred to the 57th six millions of dollars have been expended since that

FEB. 26, 1834.]

Indian Approrpiation Bill.

[H. of R.

time; it has been, as was foretold, a perfect waste-gate parts of the country. The expenditures of the last in the treasury; and we have, up to this day, seen no abused administration, for all purposes, exclusive of the movement to revise the department or redeem the disbursements for the public debt, amounted to an averpledge then made to the House. And when the objec-age of about twelve and a half millions. tion is now made that this bill ought not to pass till the This administration came into power under the stronghand of reform and retrenchment is applied to the de- est pledges of retrenchment. Great and ardent expectapartment-until the promised economy and accounta- tions were excited on this subject. The expenditures bility are introduced into it--the chairman of the Com- for the improvement of the country had formed one mittee of Ways and Means tells us we must pass this very heavy item of expense. Some of these bills for bill first, and then, perhaps, if we have time, the subject roads, canals, rivers, harbors, light-houses, &c. were veof revising the department may be brought forward. toed, and others pocketed by the President. And thus, He says, he remembers there was a conversation on the under the plea of retrenchment and economy, these usesubject at a former session. A dull and drowsy recol- ful improvements were arrested; and notwithstanding lection of a mere conversation is all that now seems to these expenditures were cut down, yet the Government remain upon his mind of that great and paramount topic expenses have nearly doubled; instead of diminishing, of debate. Sir, if this bill is suffered to pass at this they have increased about ten millions of dollars. These time, what little has now been said will be utterly for- ten millions of dollars, if brought together in hard money, gotten. We shall be told that the passing of the bill is (to which the President has now taken a fancy,) would the decision of the House that the department shall go make no inconsiderable show, viz: If you will place fouron for another year on its present establishment. The horse wagons at a suitable and convenient distance apart next is the short session, and we shall then be put off for travelling in company, and put into each two thouwith the plea of want of time; and thus the subject, if it sand pounds of silver, (which would be load enough for be put by now, may be regarded as indefinitely post- such a team on such a road as that from Maysville to poned. He was therefore for sending the bill back to Lexington, which is to the President's liking,) they would the committee, and he hoped it would be kept there un- make a line more than equal to one-fifth the distance til the promised measures of economy, accountability, from this to Baltimore. He was sure it would extend and reduction were brought forward and passed; and from the capitol beyond Bladensburg. Now, sir, if only then would be the proper time to pass the appropriation two or three miles out of the seven or eight could be bill, based upon the new system instead of the old. sent on to Philadelphia and New York, it would help the He had always opposed this Indian Department, and its poor people to bear the new "experiment" now making operations; because, while they were carried on at re- upon their business and their pockets. He wanted to mote points, removed from all observation and scrutiny, know how this great and increasing expenditure of pubwhere there is the greatest opportunity afforded for lic money had arisen; and the people will know, when mofraud, abuse, and extravagance, there is less of system ney has become a thing of precious value, and require us and accountability in the expenditure of money than in to put a stop to this course of things. It was proper to any other department of Government. It was upon this give the President a reasonable time to introduce and ground, among others, that he steadily opposed this de- carry into operation the promised retrenchment and partment under the late administration, which, in other economy. He has now had five years, and it was time respects, he had as steadily supported. When the public to look into the subject and know what we are to exmoney is spent without a proper accountability, he never pect. At the rate at which the administration has gone had, and he trusted he never should, first inquire who on thus far, the treasury will be absolutely bankrupt bewas in or who was out of power, before he raised his fore the end of this year. The President himself is aware opposition to it. But he desired to see the bill recom- of that fact, and more than intimates it in his message at mitted for a broader object. There was a hidden leak the opening of the session. He has called our attention in the treasury somewhere, and he wanted it searched to the forming a new system of expenditures on what he out and stopped up before any appropriation bill was calls "firm and durable principles." He urges our atpassed. He knew of no department where we should tention to it in the strongest terms. He (Mr. V.) wantbe more likely to find it than in this. On that account, ed to know what the chairman had done on this subject; he was glad the fortification bill was sent back yesterday, and it would, as a matter of course, be necessary to reand he hoped this bill would follow it. And when all commit the bill to accommodate it to the state of things the appropriation bills should be in committee together, recommended, and which, he trusted, had received the he wanted to see a scrutinizing debate upon the whole especial attention of the chairman. condition of the treasury and its expenditures. On looking at the Treasury estimates, sent in last session, for the expenditures of the year 1833, he perceived Mr. VINTON said the chairman of the Ways and Means they were put down as a fraction over seventeen millions had congratulated the House upon his (Mr. V.'s) becom of dollars, exclusive of disbursements for the public ing a new convert to economy and retrenchment. debt. The President's message and the Treasurer's re- (Mr. V.) was not quite sure his conversion would justify port of the present session will show that these expend- that gentleman in abandoning his principles and profesitures have exceeded twenty-two millions, making an ex-sions. But he could inform that gentleman, he was not cess of five millions of dollars beyond the estimates, quite so new a convert as he seemed to suppose. The which are presumed to have been founded upon the laws gentleman attempts to throw the blame of lavish expendin force. He, for one, was anxious to know what had iture of the public money on the opposition, and on me become of this enormous sum of money--who had got among the rest, as one of the most lavish. Now, sir, when it--for what it had been expended--how it happened to it is remembered that in the last Congress there was a be expended--and by what authority. So great a dis- clear majority of more than sixty in favor of the adminiscrepancy cannot have escaped the notice of the chair-tration returned by the people, it will not quite answer to man of the Committee of Ways and Means. It was his attempt to shift off from the administration, or from that duty to inquire into it. He would presume he had done majority, the responsibility of such laws as were passed 50, and was ready to give us the information. Other making appropriations of public money. He (Mr. V.) facts also made a thorough inquiry into the public ex- had not voted for any extravagant laws. The internal penditures highly necessary at this time, when we were improvement bills named by the gentleman had, he bedaily assailed with cries of distress and suffering from all lieved, cost the treasury nothing, as they had been vetoed

After some remarks by Messrs. POLK, CAMBRELENG, and BEARDSLEY,

He

H. OF R.]

Washington Potomac Bridge.

[FEB. 27, 1834.

or pocketed. As to the pension bills named by the gen- had received, as chairman of the Committee on Roads tleman from New York, [Mr. CAMBRELENG,] he, (Mr. V.,) and Canals, on the 11th of February, a communication with the exception of the invalid pension laws, had never from the Secretary of the Treasury, expressing a desire voted for a pension hill. He was not, therefore, to be that as early a decision as possible should be had on the charged with the draft they had made upon the treasury. subject of the contract. He referred to the opinions of And if he had, it did not account for the five millions several distinguished engineers, who had given it as their spent in 1833 beyond the estimates; for, by turning to opinion that the bridge could never be constructed, on them, it would be found that, in the estimates of seven- the plan proposed, for less than $4,000,000. He referred teen millions for the year, there was an item of four mil- to the expense of a bridge lately constructed over the lions for pensions. That gentleman further accounts for Thames, opposite London, which had cost four millions. this excess, by saying it was expended in the Indian war If the House was prepared to act upon the subject, why waging on the frontiers of Ohio. Mr. V. said he had send it to the Committee on the District of Columbia? never heard before that there had been an Indian war during the last year, either on the borders of Ohio or any where else. This was a new and important discovery by that gentleman. When up before, he had said he presumed the chairman of Ways and Means could tell us what had become of these five millions; it was now apparent that he did not know, as, in the attempt he had made, he had wholly failed to inform us. He repeated again, that he wanted to learn where this leak in the treasury is. The motion to recommit was then agreed to-yeas 106, nays 101.

And the House adjourned.

Mr. CHINN, chairman of the District Committee, said that, if he consulted his own inclination merely, he should not desire the reference of this subject to the Committee on the District of Columbia. It was not on account of any zeal in favor of the contract which had been entered into that he had made the motion. He was not prepared to say that the contract was a proper one, to give any opinion as to the cost, or even as to the propriety of building any bridge at all. It would be remembered that, when the subject had been first proposed, his opinion had been in direct hostility to it. He thought, at that time, that the estimate submitted was wholly insufficient, and that the House were deceived in supposing the bridge could be constructed for any such sum. But the ques tion, at present, was, whether the bill should be referred to the District Committee. He was not disposed to be from the trouble of investigating the subject. But there tenacious, but would, on the contrary, rather be excused The House resumed the unfinished business, being the were other matters very important to the interests of the consideration of Mr. MARDIS's motion concerning the District, which were so connected with this, that decision future place of deposite of the public money; and Mr. upon them must be suspended until this subject should CLOWNEY having spoken till the expiration of the morn-first be settled. If the uniform course of business in that ing hour, without concluding his remarks, on motion of House was to have any influence upon the present deci Mr. MARSHALL, the House proceeded to the orders of sion, it was very certain that this entire subject, from its the day.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27.

ROBERT B. CAMPBELL, a member elect from South Carolina, in the place of Mr. SINGLETON, deceased, ap peared, was sworn, and took his seat.

WASHINGTON POTOMAC BRIDGE.

first inception, almost until the present moment, had been in the hands of the Committee on the District. All the previous plans and appropriations, in reference to this Mr. MERCER, from the Committee on Roads and Ca-bridge, had come from that committee. Why was it now nals, moved to suspend the rules of the House, in order to be taken out of their hands? When the gentleman at to take up and refer the bill reported from that committee, the head of the Committee on Roads and Canals had made authorizing the construction of a bridge over the Poto- his call upon the President for a copy of the contract, he mac river, and repealing all other acts on that subject. had understood from that gentleman that his only object The motion prevailed: Ayes 101. in making the call was to ascertain what was the sum conMr. MERCER then stated that he had not risen to re-templated to be applied to this work. He had not had new the debate which had occurred on the same motion when originally made, but merely that the bill might be referred.

the least idea that his colleague wished to draw the subject out of the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Dis trict. Mr. C. again declared that he was not in favor of the contract in its present form, but he thought it due, as well to the contractor as to the people of the District, that both should be heard before the committee.

The CHAIR then stated that two motions had been made, and were before the House, for the reference of this bill: one to refer it to a committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union; the other to refer it to Mr. RENCHER, of North Carolina, said that he thought the Committee on the District of Columbia. The ques- this subject belonged to the Committee on Roads and tion would first be taken on referring the bill to the Com- Canals. Were the reference now to be made for the first mittee of the Whole.

time, he should be indifferent whether it went to the Post Mr. MERCER explained at some length his reasons Office Committee, to the Committee on the District of for wishing that the bill should go to a Committee of the Columbia, or to that on Roads and Canals; but, since it Whole House. He desired to know whether it was the had gone to one of these committees, who had laboriously wish of the House that the contract which had been be- investigated the subject, and furnished to the House a bill gun, but not completed, for constructing this work of and report, it was now too late to object to the reference. stone, according to a plan which was professedly to cost A party who had lost his cause might as well object to the $1,350,000, but which would in reality cost from three to jurisdiction of a court after judgment was given. Besides, five millions, should be carried into effect. This was an the reference to the Committee on Roads and Canals inquiry equally important to the Committee of Ways and was in itself a proper one. The Committee on the DisMeans, as to the Committee on Roads and Canals. The trict were not entitled to draw to themselves all subjects contract bound the contractors to finish the work in two which happened to have their local habitation within the years: and if so large a sum as from three to five millions ten miles square, but only such whose nature was local. of dollars was to be drawn from the treasury in that time, Supposing a question were raised in reference to one of it was important that it should be understood. Mr. M. the post offices in the District, would it not go to the Post referred to other cases, where bills providing for works Office Committee? Must it go to the District Committee, of improvement of a local nature had been referred to a because the post office happened to be in the District? If Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union. He a question should be raised about some judicial proceed

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